The hope and anxiety of pregnancy after miscarriage.
I bought a box of diapers the other day.
They’re size ones, much too small for our all-but-potty-trained three year old. They’re for our baby that’s due in July and I’m not sure I can fully explain what they represent.
With my three previous pregnancies, I began stocking up on diapers nearly from the beginning. I’d grab a package just about every trip to the grocery store. I’d buy other odds and ends here and there, as they were on sale and as I thought about what we’d need.
I bought a package of diapers several weeks into my third pregnancy. Luvs brand. I bought a few other things, too: an Ergo carrier that was an irresistible price on Amazon, and several maternity pants and shirts for the belly I knew would soon be expanding.
And then we lost the baby.
The diapers sat there on the shelf in my closet. The maternity clothes hung from the rod, washed and ready to be worn. When we moved into our new home five months after the miscarriage, the clothes moved right along with us; they’re now hanging among my cardigans and dress pants in my new closet.
The diapers came, too, though I’m not sure where they ended up. I don’t where the Ergo is, either. I didn’t ask because we didn’t need it.
But now we’re pregnant again and I just bought a box of diapers.
Like I said, it’s hard to really explain what these diapers mean. I lived in fear for the first several weeks of this pregnancy. Every twinge and ache had me anxious. I was certain every trip to the bathroom would be the one where I saw blood.
I was out shopping the week before Thanksgiving and I came across the most adorable maroon onesie with a bulldog applique (for Mississippi State University). It was perfectly gender neutral and I carried it around the store as I shopped. At the last minute I put it back; I couldn’t bring myself to make the purchase yet. I couldn’t let myself buy something for a baby I wasn’t sure I’d ever get to meet.
I’m only twelve weeks along now, the same gestation I was when I miscarried. J and I got to see our wiggly little 12-week-old on ultrasound the other day, something we didn’t get last time.
There’s still so much that can go wrong; I’m not sure I’ll ever get a full breath until the baby is here and in my arms. But in the last few weeks, I’ve managed to move from a place of fear to a place of hope. Instead of the dread that seemed to have made a permanent home in the pit of my stomach, I’m beginning to picture What’s Next: learning the gender, decorating a space for the little one, and becoming a family of five. All the things I didn’t realize I wouldn’t let myself think about.
I’m hopeful that we’ll get to meet and raise this baby, hopeful my kids will know the sibling they’ve already grown to love. I can’t pinpoint exactly when that transition happened, when I stopped holding my breath every time I used the bathroom, when I began to envision What’s Next.
But at some point it happened, that slow shift, and now I feel ready to embrace the anticipation of welcoming a baby.
So I bought a box of diapers.